- File Size: 2580 KB
- Print Length: 215 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: AIA Publishing (November 10, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 10, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B077C6Z1XP
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,310 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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‘Mood’ is a word that comes to mind in the first lines of this fine engrossing novel – mood as atmosphere and as human response. ‘Martin Bennett turned a corner and the hospital came into view. He stopped for a moment to catch his breath. His mouth felt dry and sweat ran down his cheeks. The grey concrete used in the Sixties to construct the monstrosity of a building looked like the end result of some poisonous industrial process. It reminded him of the dumped slag that used to form mountains and cliffs down by the river at Widnes. He slung his satchel around his back and walked on past a huge hoarding showing the proposed new hospital. The blue sky in the artist’s sketch matched the cloudless sky above. A red strip about two feet wide stretched across the main pedestrian access. On it in big white letters: No smoking beyond this point. Outside the entrance, a crowd of smokers, some in hospital gowns and carrying drips, puffed away. He pushed through the crowd and went in. His hands trembled. Inside, he followed endless corridors. Fluorescent lights overhead, blue lino underfoot, pine-veneered doors leading off. Messages on the lino. Combinations of the words Commitment, Compassion, Communication, Care. He got a surprise when he reached the waiting room for the cardiac clinic. He’d expected the patients to be overweight and unhealthy, but everyone looked average. Like him. An old man, completely bald and looking more like a skeleton than a living person, sat slumped in a wheelchair. He seemed to be asleep but muttered quietly to himself. Martin recalled reading George Orwell’s essay ‘How the Poor Die’ one sunny afternoon in the Park Lane flat. Hospitals under the British National Health Service were much nicer places now compared to French ones in the Twenties, but even so, a fear of hospitals persisted in the subconscious. He’d not read the essay for years, but the passage in which the old Frenchman cries out ‘Je Pisse!’ just before he expires in agony in a crowded, squalid ward felt very real to him at this moment.’
Once into the arena the story unfolds rapidly and well populated with credible characters – as the synopsis provided speaks – ‘When Martin Bennett, the backroom brains in a regeneration company charged with bringing back Merseyside’s former prosperity, sees an ex-friend murdered on a hospital escalator and discovers that the body was too hastily cremated, he feels compelled to investigate. In order to discover the truth about the murder, he must navigate the Merseyside underworld peopled by bent solicitors and coppers, corrupt politicians and violent thugs. He forms an alliance with the mayor’s right hand woman, who is out of favour with her corrupt boss, and uncovers not only the surprising story behind the murder but also a conspiracy to carve up Merseyside’s green belt. The journey will not be without risk. For both of them.’
Yes, Merseyside exists (a county in North West England that includes Pete’s Liverpool) but it has never been painted like this before – a netherworld where gangsters, corrupt politicians and a collection of venal professionals connect and coalesce – and that is what makes Martin Bennett the champion of this tale. Raw, rich in flavor, and a very fine read, NOT WITHOUT RISK takes them and the result is a very fine fresh novel. Grady Harp, November 17
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I loved the idea of this book but it just did not live up to the expectations that I had. Having been a Director of Planning and Zoning, appointed by County Commissioners, I felt an instant connection to the main theme and characters in this novel. I’ve started a novel myself about my experiences in this field and know that Pete Trewin would have ample substance within this context to write such an escapade. Pete Trewin’s urban crime caper/noir was played out against the backdrop of Liverpool, England and was populated by multiple characters, most engaged in unholy alliances of self-serving public officials, coppers, and criminal entrepreneurs, all with a taste for the economic benefits of unscrupulous property development and other unsavory devices to include serious drug smuggling.
From my experience as the chief in charge of planners attempting to save the county from the intrusion of West Coast re-locators attempting to purchase a chunk of green pasture, where they could “live in the country”, use their 5-acre plots to build their McMansions, get a horse to keep the grass down, and drive 20 miles to the next county and the largest city to pursue their employment--and then these horners would constantly complain to us about the dust, crop sprayers, odor, noise and lack of shopping diversity, etc. To hell with the long established local businesses of large confined animal feeding operations, farmers, ranchers, and wineries. Though we always recommended a denial with reason--don’t take the green space in the middle of a farming operation, use hard scrabble ground that you can ply with water if you choose to grow a garden—what? Don’t fruit and vegetables come from large grocery outlets? The elected officials, who were trying desperately to grow the economic base and please the attorneys representing the large subdivision plans, mostly over rode our planners. Well, no bollocks here, to coin an English slang term.
But, I digress. Since this is not Pete’s first novel, I expected an experienced writer with the ability to concoct a tale that would keep me turning the pages. In this regard, I was not disappointed. Mr. Trewin is indeed an accomplished writer and the editing seemed flawless. However, I found the pace of action in the first half of the book to be quite slow (or maybe almost non-existent). It was a bit puzzling, because the writing and dialogue seemed smooth and capable -- but the narrative just never progressed anywhere. We, the readers, spend an incredible length of time learning about rock climbing (mountaineering), and the protagonist’s woes, but why? I didn't feel that the exorbitant space was at all necessary to the remainder of the book. Happily, the pace of action and narrative development picked up considerably in the last half of the book.
I'm no fiction author, and I have respect for all authors for being able to create all the dialogue, settings, plot, mood, and characters that are required to produce stories. So I'm always surprised that the line between a so-so book and a good one is so thin, and so instantly noticeable by readers. Maybe because Pete took so long to blend climbing, Martin’s health, and his professional woes into the storyline of the murder of an old friend/nemesis, I wasn’t quite sure if I was reading a crime adventure, a cozy mystery, or a planning procedural. And, truly this caper had way too many minor characters to keep abreast of what was actually going on and why and who was involved. While that may sound like a pleasant prospect it was a tad over done. I was constantly looking back to see who this character was and what his/her role was in the plot.
I just could not get into this book. I normally love these kinds of books. Maybe I was just not in the mood to read this genre at the time. It probably is a good book but not for me. I did read every sentence and sometimes more than once. It felt like it took forever to get to the point of the story. Pete employs -- mostly to good effect -- the multiple viewpoint style of storytelling, where we sometimes follow the story from the protagonist’s viewpoint, and sometimes from the other viewpoints.
The story line and style did not reach out to me. While others may like it a lot, it just passed me by. This ordinary crime caper has no absorbing plot or storyline. The entire book is sketchy and full of English/Welsh slang that I sometimes had no idea what was intended. Take for instance the term “scouse”. I couldn’t find it in any dictionary and finally found it to be a Liverpool dialect roughly meaning meat stew-huh? While the use of local slang enhances the overall experience, if the reader cannot find the meaning of the term, regardless of his/her effort, the humor goes unrewarded and the writer has missed an opportunity to connect. This book could have used a glossary of terms to be quite honest and a little less use of the F bomb; although I understand the mood that was being sought may have required it.
There were many saving graces in this novel. For example: the main plot line was a great idea, just poorly executed. Trewin obviously has a real desire to write and I believe that after he gets some more experience he will be a great novelist. Then again, he may just enjoy writing crimes solved by the everyday man and not professionals that so often populate this genre. There were many places throughout the novel that were intense and kept you entranced as they played themselves out. The main characters are full bodied and believable and I truly enjoyed the humor I found in unexpected places.
It was presented as a thriller/crime novel but barely met the criteria. Still, I have great confidence in Mr. Trewin’s future and I look forward to reading more of his novels in the future.
In the process of digging into his friend’s murder, Bennett becomes involved with corrupt politicians, crooked cops, and a list of possible suspects a mile long. He forms a partnership with an out-of-favor aide of the crooked mayor, and a roller coaster of intrigue and danger puts both their lives at risk. The clock is ticking as they dig deeper and deeper into the mire of corruption, leading to a stunning climax. Nothing they do is without risk, and he is faced constantly with the question; is it worth it?
Not Without Risk by Pete Trewin is a bumpy read—not, though, in a negative sense. Through actions, dialogue, and well-placed flashbacks, the reader is introduced to an eclectic cast of characters and an exquisitely-crafted plot that pulls you ever deeper into Bennett’s oddball existence, piquing your curiosity with every sentence.
I received a free copy of this book; a definite five-star read.
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